Six-year jail term for robber

A MAN has today been jailed for six years for being part of a gang who conspiring to rob an Ipswich jewellers.Joseph Thomas, 46, was found guilty by an Ipswich Crown Court jury of robbing Berridge's Jewellers in Dial Lane on October 1, last year.

A MAN has today been jailed for six years for being part of a gang who conspiring to rob an Ipswich jewellers.

Joseph Thomas, 46, was found guilty by an Ipswich Crown Court jury of robbing Berridge's Jewellers in Dial Lane on October 1, last year.

Sentencing Thomas, Judge David Goodin said: "This was a brutish, violent robbery of a jeweller's in this town early in the afternoon. A small gang of youths, masked or hooded, entered this premises with much noise or shouting, smashing glass cabinets with a hammer and making off with £117,500 of jewellery."

Judge Goodin said during the raid Christopher Hardman, a partner in Berridge's, was sprayed in the face with some noxious liquid.


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He added Thomas, of Brockley, London, had carried out a reconnaissance mission to the shop two days before the robbery.

The court heard that Thomas had gone to the shop on the day of the robbery and tried on a £1,730 Chopard watch. He then appeared to signal to a group of hooded stocking-masked men outside, when the shop became quiet.

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The men burst in and stole the jewels, before escaping in getaway cars parked in a side road near Yates' public house.

Thomas, who has a long list of criminal convictions, subsequently left shop with watch.

In interview with the police denied having any connection with the robbery, but admitted stealing the watch.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge of conspiracy to rob.

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